The first time I was in China, I was shocked at the level of interest there in premium cars, often Western brands. Sure, there were the countless knock-offs of older Western models, cheaply produced in China (my favorite reminded me of the old sudden-acceleration Audi, if you can remember back that far). But in a country where car ownership was anything but a given even for the rising middle class, consumer awareness of Buick (which was looked upon much as Mercedes has been in the West), Volkswagen, and Volvo, among others, seemed quite high indeed. In fact, it felt to me that in many provinces, larger compacts and luxury brands — vs. bare-bones econoboxes — dominated the roads, if not new-car sales.
In India, the case is different, even if the subcontinent is undergoing its own automotive boom. Over on the Spend Matters affiliate site MetalMiner, Stuart Burns covered how the Indian auto market is shifting into high gear, — and what makes it different from China…
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